Internet Bandit Signs: What Real Estate Investors Should Know About Local Search

Bandit posters are a very popular advertising medium for real estate investors looking for a motivated seller. But his days are numbered. They can be not only expensive, but also a time consuming way to “get the word out.” Not only that, but in most municipalities there are strict laws governing the use of bandit posters. Are we now living in the era of internet bandit cartels? Some say “YES”.

Recent studies show that the average search engine user is more likely to use search engines to find local vendors and outlets than ever before. Increasingly, offline purchases are preceded by online searches. The trend skyrockets considerably as the decade closes.

Starting in 2004, major search engines like Google and Yahoo have developed solutions to help people find local vendors and suppliers. People want to do business with their neighbors, and search engines meet this need through technological advancements such as geolocation of IP addresses and GPS phones.

Of all the business verticals, real estate professionals should pay close attention to these local search trends, considering how geocentric real estate is. But what should investors and real estate agents know before diving into the world of Internet bandit cartels? The top three hot spots for real estate professionals should be the nation’s leading broker market, hyper-local directories, and relatively new local options within pay-per-click platforms like Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing.

The national market for top brokers is a virtual war in which national aggregators of motivated leads sell exclusive access to leaders by territory. The options for buying such leads are myriad and a little due diligence can go a long way before doing business with these lead brokers. The advantage of working with these top brokers is that their business model forces them to stay at the top of the search engines at any cost. Since it is so competitive, the cost of maintaining a superior location can be astronomical. Another advantage of working with national lead brokers is that your “internet bandit signs” usually send leads to your email address rather than some page on your site, this means you can do business without having a site of your own. . As long as you have an email address, you can receive leads. The main problem with adding these brokers to your portfolio is knowing which companies actually provide the most qualified leads and understanding the domain of each company locally, which can vary drastically from market to market.

Hyperlocal directories are sites developed to serve only specific areas. They generally rank very high in search engines for very specific locally targeted keywords. Many of them accept business presentations for free or a small premium placement fee.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising provides the greatest amount of control and accountability for any internet bandit signal initiative. Platforms such as Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search marketing now provides ways to geographically target your advertising and track not just costs, but lead conversions as well. Using geo targeting within these platforms gives advertisers valuable data on their local and surrounding markets. Getting into the PPC game can be expensive if not done correctly. Effective PPC advertising requires knowledge of keyword research programs, copywriting, and at least a basic understanding of how a virtual lead generation funnel works.

Numerous studies show that local businesses are not keeping up with local demand from internet savvy consumers, showing that local search can be a viable niche for real estate professionals as competition is lagging behind. . As time goes on, major shifts in local search awareness will create open and obvious demand and possibly spur deep-pocketed local businesses to weed out the “little one,” unless the “little one” comes first.

Sites like have been developed to shorten the learning curve on local search strategies, as well as to provide effective tactics for real estate investors to use to grow their business and expand their reach.

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